Monday, April 28, 2008

So...What if I Don't Want to Listen?

Sometimes I get really annoyed with God. I don't want to listen to what He is trying to tell me - even when He uses a sledgehammer to get through my thick brain/flesh.

So the fact that all I have been reading and listening to lately has to do with listening to and for the Holy Spirit is annoying. I intellectually know what I need to do to listen to God. I know that I should listen for Him and look to Him for what I need to do and where I need to go. And I know that all the guilt that I am feeling would probably dissipate if I did actually listen to and for Him. And I know how much more incredibly rich and fuller my life would be if I was actually listening.

And yet, I still find it incredibly easy to ignore Him.

What is my problem? I think I just find the path of laziness so much easier to follow (or actually, fall into - because the word follow implies action, and my problem is inactivity) than the path of dedicated listening. I think I'm also scared of what He has to say. I don't know why. It's not like the times in which I have listened to Him before He has asked me to shave my head, wear an itchy robe, and live in the desert. Yet, I still feel some trepidation.

I guess in the end, my feelings of guilt will drive me to start listening for His Voice, and I will be better for it - but I find myself in a period of resistance right now. If only I were more holy...

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sales, Crossroads, and Baseball

Last weekend was such a fun weekend. I got to go out on Saturday with my boss and another coworker to make homeowner sales calls and it was so much fun. These sales are all about connecting with people on a personal level and trying to educate them on our product. Our new business hasn't gotten to the point where we're going door-to-door like used vaccuum cleaner salesmen - we just go to people's houses who have contacted us about our product. The fun part for me, since I don't have much technical knowledge was just learning about the actual product that we are selling and realizing that we have the potential to kill the market with our product. I also loved going to people's houses and seeing how different each homeowner's sense of style was - and how their homes reflected their personality.

Sunday though - Sunday was a breath of fresh air. I got to go to my church in Charlottesville that I went to when I lived there and it was like going home. I belonged there and I love the pastor and his message and how the Holy Spirit's presence is just so evident! There is not a church that I have been in that I have truly felt God's presence other than this church. It is almost physically painful thinking about going to St. John's where everything feels so dead. Father Gregory has truly created a beautiful community who's focus is both on Christ, each other, and the larger Charlottesville community. God just has a beautiful way of speaking through Fr. Gregory and straight to my heart. This week he talked about being at a crossroads - that Easter and the Resurrection has provided us all with a new choice - we can walk with life, seeking to live in Christ's way, to believe in Christ and who He said He was, and to serve and love each other. Or we can ignore what we have heard and continue to live life our own way.

I really identified with this message, mainly because of the use of the analogy of the crossroads, because I feel as if I am in a crossroads sort of place myself. The path I have been walking along recently has split itself into several different other paths and I have to decide which one I'm going to walk along. It is a very tough decision, but I think I have picked one and have dedicated myself to pursuing it, which is both exciting and scary. I am housesitting this weekend and so hope to examine my decision some more and figure out the best way to pursue it.

I am also currently reading a John Ortberg called "The Life You've Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People" and I really, really like it. It has sparked a lot of thoughts and ideas of things that I want to pursue in order to experience my relationship with Christ on another level. For so long I feel like I have just been pulling at straws and not pursuing a relationship with my Creator. But, like the crossroads that I am at, I feel like this is another part of the path that I have chosen - a desire to deepen my relationship with Christ.

Lastly, I am so ready for summer baseball to start. For the first time in a long time, I'm not really dreading this season - I'm excited for it. Maybe I'm just crazy and am turning into a workaholic, but there is this part of me that just wants to be outside, watching a good baseball game. I also have realized that I am a baseball snob, because when I actually got to go to a college baseball game this past Tuesday, I wished that I was hearing the crack of a wood bat instead of the ping of the metal bats that they use in college. I guess I'll have to make my way over to the new Nats stadium till June 1st rolls around...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Terrorism in Crude Form

I bet that title will get me a few screens and background checks from the FBI/CIA/other clandenstine government organizations.

But honestly, I got to thinking the other day, how is the current price spikes in gasoline at the pump any different than terrorism committed by fundamentalist militants? While one keeps you at home out of fear, the other keeps you in your house because you don't have the money to pay for the gas that allows you to travel. The symbol of the modern United States of America isn't the flag - we're too much of a self-centered individualistic society to care for the nationalist ideals that the flag symbolizes. No, the real symbol of freedom is the personal vehicle - the car. Our cars allow us to go anywhere we want, pursue anything that we want to do, participate in activities with our friends because we don't all live in the same neighborhood, enjoy the goods and products from around the country that we wouldn't have without it.

What is more threatening to the American public? A single act of terrorism or an empty wallet?

Now, let me just clarify and state that I am a firm believer in capitalism and democratic republicanism (not talking about either political party) and that these two forms of economic and political theories do in fact create states in which peace reigns (called the democractic peace theory). So I understand the principle of big companies and can appreciate their history and leadership and a lot of things that they have done for society in general. So I'm not saying here that I'm against big corporations (though I don't think I would ever work for one...).

What I AM saying is that I detest oil companies and the stranglehold that this resource and the companies that harvest it have had not only on our wallets but also on our politics (read The Prize by Daniel Yergin - best book to read on understanding how the economics of oil are so intimately intertwined with the politics). It makes me so ANGRY that I am paying $3.20+ for a gallon of gasoline.

Can the government solve the problem? Maybe, but I'm not a believer in government involvement in every single aspect of people's lives because I don't trust government or governmental agencies. I think what will really drive the change is a person bold enough to start an energy company (perhaps nuclear) or develop some other form of energy that will rival and surpass oil's supremacy, because frankly, it is long overdue!

Anyway, just some crazy thoughts from a crazy girl. I refuse to let these stupid oil companies keep me in my house, just as I refused to let the other terrorists keep me in my house, but it galls me to no end to think that flippin' Exxon Mobil that made a $6billion 4th Qtr PROFIT two years ago is probably going to make something like $25 billion 1st Qtr Profit off of me filling my tank at the gas station. Argh!!

And what will make me even angrier is when the prices go down to $2.40-$2.50 right around October when it is close to the election...

Who Would Have Thought?

Interesting little news article regarding the Number One and Two books in America....

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Mall Musings

So last night I went out shopping at good ole' Fair Oaks Mall with one of my friends and came away with some observations (and not much damage to my bank account, which is always a good thing).

1. Apparently, all women clothing stores feel that in order to enhance your shopping mood, you need to feel empowered by either Natasha Beningfield or Amy Winehouse tunes, because (I kid you not), almost every single store that we went into, played songs by one of these artists. I don't quite get what makes Amy Winehouse, a drugged and buzzed, anexoric-looking mess a force of womanly empowerment, but ok. And I guess Natasha's success at having the theme song of that paramount-MTV hit, The Hills, qualifies her songs to be broadcast all over the world (or stores) of fashion.

2. When did the 80s become fashionable again? I feel like all the trends of that time that we all groan about now, have all of the sudden reappeared everywhere. I know fashion goes in cycles, but it didn't hit me that we have gone full force into this cycle until last night. I don't even think the stuff out there is that "fashion forward". The designers from PR need to get out there and start changing these looks that are being sold across America (I guess the good news is that TLC's What Not To Wear will definitely be around for a while!)

3. The store Forever 21 is just a renaming of that beloved trashy store that I worked at, Wet Seal. From the clothes that they had on the racks, to the materials that the clothing was made out of, to the layout of the store, it brought back so many awesome memories from my time as a sales associate at the paragon of trashy tween clothing. I also was deathly afraid that I was going to run into high school girls that I know from YL - not because I was scared of seeing them, but more because I didn't want to be seen in that store by them.

4. Lastly, always, always, always keep a spare pair of flats in the car for intense shopping trips. I foolishly wore heels and promptly had to buy some sandals at the Gap because if I hadn't, I would currently be footless from having to cut off my feet to stop the pain.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Where's my "Easy" Button?

You know those Staples commercials with the "Easy" Buttons that solve the seemingly insurmountable problems that occur at the office? I have decided that I would really, really like one of those for my life.

I know that is unrealistic and that life is supposed to be a "journey" blah blah blah, etc, etc, with the joy coming from the journey and the unknowns. I do believe that on a certain scale. But I'm just frustrated with my life situation right now and if I had an "Easy" button I do believe that would help. That or else Peter Walsh from "Clean Sweep" needs to come and clean sweep my life, because there is a lot of junk (both external and internal) throughout.

Anyway, just a thought for a Tuesday night to throw out there on the world wide web.